NNPC Can’t Keep Spending Public Funds Without Approval – Governors
Governors of the 36 states are insisting that the deadlock at the Federation Accounts and Allocation Committee (FAAC) meetings would continue until the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) remit what is due to government coffers.
The NNPC had remitted N147 billion into the federation account in May but the governors faulted that amount, saying it did not reflect the current economic realities and prices of oil in the international market.
The governors also queried the amount that the NNPC said it paid for petroleum subsidies.
The governors, who held a meeting in Abuja on Wednesday night, said their final decision on the issues would be presented at Thursday’s national economic council (NEC) presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
The allocations of May and June are yet to be distributed among the three tiers of government following the rejection of the NNPC remittances.
When FAAC meeting held on June 27, representatives of the 36 states rejected the NNPC remittance for that month.
When the meeting reconvened last week, the state commissioners for finance insisted that a permanent solution must be explored to resolve the recurring issue around NNPC remittances to the federation account.
Briefing journalists on the outcome of Wednesday’s meeting, Abdulaziz Yari, chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Zamfara state governor, said the governors still disagreed with the figures presented by the oil corporation.
“There is a disagreement between the figures presented. I have been on the saddle for seven years and I have been attending NEC for past four months and if I see discrepancies, I should be able to tell,” he said.
According to Yari, the agreement NNPC claims to have with state governors to remit a maximum of ₦112 billion per month was done when oil price was $48 barrel per day but now the price $78.
“NNPC said it paid N88 billion for subsidy and in the month of June, it said it paid N31 billion but it claimed N57 billion is for payment of subsidy in 2017. That is not acceptable and we won’t give the approval. You can’t just deep your hand into the public purse and take the money, you have to seek approval from the NEC or Mr. President.
“And NNPC said they have N15 billion for miscellaneous, N9 billion for pipeline maintenance, N3 billion for crude loss, all those things were not approved by anyone.
“NNPC is owned by the federal, states and local government. The states get 48 per cent while the local government and federal government get 52 percent. We have to agree whatever we get the federal government is getting 52 percent. We are saying this money should be brought to the public for sharing.”